Namibia: Food Insecurity Emergency appeal n° MDRNA009 Revision no 1, issued 28 August 2016


This Emergency Appeal seeks 1,351,937 Swiss francs increased from 950,205 Swiss francs to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to reach 16,500 drought affected people with a focus on livelihoods, nutrition, food security, and water sanitation and hygiene promotion for additional eight months. This revised appeal results in the introduction of direct cash transfer interventions and phase out from the soup kitchens due to high costs associated with managing the kitchens. The planned response also reflects the current situation exacerbated by El Niño climatic event that caused the worst drought in 35 years in Southern Africa.

Needs assessment and beneficiary selection

Drought due to abnormally low rainfall patterns between October 2014 and February 2015 (the active rainfall period for commonly grown crops). In addition, the south and western parts of the country experienced abnormally prolonged dry spells (no rain recorded) between January and February 2015.

In July 2016, the government declared a national disaster. According to the assessment reports, 729,134 people (31.6% of the population) are food insecure with 595,839 people requiring immediate assistance.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry estimates below average cereal crop production at 75,300 metric tonnes for the 2016-2017 marketing year. With an annual national cereal consumption of 326,500 metric tonnes, this leaves a deficit of 251,200 metric tonnes to be covered under commercial imports.

The Government of Namibia is currently implementing a number of food security related initiatives, including drought aid relief (mostly maize meal). Funds have also been allocated for the drilling of boreholes to supply water for human and livestock, and a livestock marketing scheme to support farmers destock has been launched. However, there is a gap in meeting the needs of approximately 595,839 people who are reported to be in urgent need of food support, and the government has appealed for support.

NRCS will ensure that the selection of beneficiaries is consistent with the Red Cross commitment to gender equality and diversity, and to ensure non-discrimination in provision of services to the most vulnerable. NRCS is working with local authorities on identifying those most in need, as well as conducting Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC)1 where necessary and referring malnourished children and people to local government offices for assistance. Based on the NRCS vulnerability selection criteria and government assessments, the selection criteria in the targeted communities include:

a) Labour constrained households
b) Households with malnourished clients
c) Child, female and elderly-headed households